Court accepts indictment over attack on Hürriyet
ISTANBULAn Istanbul court has accepted the indictment over the attacks on the office building of daily Hürriyet in Istanbul in early September, which carries a penalty of up to nine years in prison for 26 suspects, the state-run Anadolu Agency has reported.
Prepared around 100 days after the attacks, the indictment did not list among suspects former Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputy Abdürrahim Boynukalın, who delivered a fiery speech before hundreds of protesters who pelted the door of the main office building in Istanbul’s Bağcılar district with stones on Sept. 6, inciting violent acts targeting the daily.
Boynukalın, former head of AKP youth branch, became youth and sports deputy minister on Dec. 18. Video footage released in late October showed Boynukalın making statements that backed the attacks on the daily.
“These guys [at Hürriyet] thought they could curse this country’s Islamic values and anybody else they wanted to curse. They thought no one would be able to touch them. But friends, the AKP youth lifted their immunity three weeks ago,” the video footage showed him saying.
The appointment of Boynukalın to a deputy ministry post has drawn criticism from several parties including opposition lawmakers.
Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu denounced the AKP government for Boynukalın’s appointment as the country’s deputy minister of youth and sports.
Kılıçdaroğlu called the move “hypocritical,” of Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, who “talks about morals, merits and the importance of press freedom, but appointed a deputy who attacked and threatened the media as a deputy minister.”
The 26 suspects were charged one account each with “damaging private property” and “violating immunity of residence” in the indictment carrying penalty of two years and four months to nine years in prison.
Hürriyet’s office building was pelted with stones by a group of around 150 people chanting pro-AKP slogans early Sept. 7 in an attack described by the newspaper’s editor-in-chief as “a black page in Turkey’s democratic history.”
The group attacked security personnel at the outer gate of the daily’s compound before forcing their way to the door, which they pelted with stones.